CHICKEN PARM SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOATS
1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¼ – 1 ½ pounds)
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds in the center with a spoon and discard. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the cut side of the squash and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool for 10 minutes until you can handle with your hands.
While the squash is cooking, cut the chicken into cubes, about 2-3”.
Add 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to your beaten eggs and toss the chicken cubes in the egg to coat.
Combine the Italian breadcrumbs, with ½ cup of the panko crumbs, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan in a pie plate or shallow baking dish.
Heat ¼” of olive oil to cover the bottom of a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Coat the egg covered chicken cubes in the breadcrumb mixture and place in the hot oil. Brown on all sides and remove from pan to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Do not worry if the chicken is slightly underdone as it will go in the oven and continue cooking.
Using a fork, shred the squash and scoop into a large bowl, keeping the shells intact. Toss the squash with ½ cup of the parmesan cheese and the butter and put back into the shells. Top the squash in each shell with half of the marinara sauce. Top with the chicken cubes followed by the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese on each ‘boat’.
Combine the final ¼ cup each of panko and parmesan with parsley and 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of each squash.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until browned, melty, and bubbly.
Garnish with fresh basil and mangia!!